I like this concept more and more as you throw out these ideas.
Since we are doing this in a PURELY fictional Physics environment.
Why not also make our sensors work PURELY on these particles?
When you get a new unknown contact, be it an asteroid, a ship, or a hunk of space cheese, it throws out particles of different types, in different amounts.
Using this you can either wait until you are close enough for Low Range scanners to get an effective scan (LIDAR high res scans for instance), or you can categorize it yourself. (potentially by eyeball)
This gives us SpaceSonar™.
We can use it to look for a particular material in an asteroid cluster, maybe the Torqium ore we are after has a high output of anti-Rhonium particles, maybe a pirate has a generator that provides a high anti-Rhonium particle output, but it's slightly off.
The Pirate is sitting there with all other systems offline or in low-power mode.
We have a look at our long distance scanners, because asteroids are spread out a good few kilometers. And all our other scanning tools are basically VFR, all requiring visual range (because combat is boring at artillery ranges)
We have a look, and as a newbie we see that there is a slightly higher than normal output, clearly thats a big score. We head over there, the pirate turns on his systems, causing a burst of static on our scanners, and then Boom, we are dead.
Now, if we were a bit more experienced, that slightly higher than normal value might make us check the other ranges, and spot a set of radiation thats normally associated with Life Support systems. Deciding that discretion is the better part of valor, we go after another chunk of rock, and the pirate goes hungry.
Basically imagine the thermal signature system of Elite Dangerous, crossed with the sonar systems of 90's Cold War Submarine Simulators. (eg Seawolf)